What are Floating Stocks?

The total number of shares of a stock that are accessible for trade on a public market are known as floating stocks. It can be estimated by deducting the total number of restricted shares (non-transferable stock) and tightly held shares (shares that are not publicly traded) from the total number of outstanding shares of the company.

What does Floating mean in Stocks?

There may be a lot of outstanding shares but little floating stock for a corporation. Consider a business that has 50 million outstanding shares. Of those 50 million shares, 35 million are held by major institutions, 5 million by management and insiders. Additionally, there would be 2 million through the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Therefore, just 8 million shares, or 16% of the total shares (50 million minus 42 million shares), are floating stock.

A company’s floating stock may increase or decrease in value over time. There are numerous reasons why this might happen. For instance, a business may sell more shares to raise additional funds, which increases the amount of floating stock. The amount of floating stock will rise if shares that are restricted or held by a small number of people become available.

On the other hand, a company’s share count will go down if it decides to conduct a share repurchase program. In this scenario, the floating shares’ proportion to the total number of outstanding shares will likewise decrease.

Why do companies float shares?

An investor might have a better understanding of the ownership structure by comparing the number of restricted shares to the number of floating shares. That is the degree of control held by insiders. Company ABC, for instance, has 10 million authorized shares and 8 million outstanding. 500,000 shares are held by a significant company insider. This insider selling their shares would significantly affect the price of the company’s stock, assuming that 8 million of the outstanding shares are also in float.

However, if only 6 million of the 8 million shares are floating, the effect would be significantly more pronounced. As an actual illustration, on July 13, 2022, Amazon (AMZN) had 10.17 billion outstanding shares. But there were only 9.16 billion floating.

Floating Stocks in the Market
Floating Stocks in the Market

Why do Floating Stocks Matter to the Investors?

High-float equities are typically the greatest for long-term investment plans, in general. Low-float stocks can be worth considering if you’re seeking quick, potentially significant gains. Both carry dangers, just like any investments. Be careful to do your homework and speak with a financial expert before making any financial decisions.